Uruguay's secret formula: cutting-edge Academics in IT

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There’s no denial of the new challenges the digital era brings: from changing the way we relate with each other to creating new job positions or even specific business units, among several other revolutionary technological improvements. Of course, such an impact also affected education. In this day and era, the world is driven by technology and software, and developers are the ones keeping it all afloat. Many important organizations and recruiters are struggling with a contradictory fact: there's a significant shortage of skilled software developers in many countries. 

When referring to developed economies such as the UK or the US, it makes it pretty challenging to pursue an IT career since most of the academic offerings come from private institutions. So, many companies' software development growth is now impeded due to not finding the right talent to meet demand. When you think about it, it all comes down to education. Both Software Development and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) are now a crucial benefit of any academic offerings across many Universities worldwide. Luckily, Uruguay is on the trend.

One key aspect that several LATAM countries share is the access to public education across all levels, granting opportunities for personal and professional development. However, not all countries have Uruguay's innovative tech educational programs approach: starting at an early stage ranking all the way up. For instance, in 2007, a social equality plan called Plan Ceibal was created to help children and teenagers receive specific technological support and educational opportunities. After enrolling in a public school, every student is provided with a personal computer and free of charge wifi access, nurturing social inclusion and fostering scientific knowledge: investing in educational resources that are reshaping its community technology-wise. It's quite clear for Uruguay that education needs to reflect that on its students to guarantee excellence in their future professions in the digital era.


ICT Academic Offer in Uruguay

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Uruguay has several important IT academic institutions. They can be divided into three different levels: Technical Education, University and Postgraduate Studies.

Worth pointing out whether 51% of the academic offering is private, public education plays an important role, sharing the other 49% nationwide. This is quite significant because it ensures public access to education at a highly competitive academic offering that allows students to land a job and start building their own experience while working in the industry.

Uruguay's current offering showcases an interesting up-to-date broad range of careers to choose from, which ranks up from App Developer or Telecommunication Technician up to Big Data Analytics or even Artificial Intelligence Specializations. Whether you'd like to pursue a career in Software Engineering, Cybersecurity, Business Intelligence, Mechatronics, or Bioinformatics, you can enroll at some of the finest institutions providing such advanced studies for highly demanding job positions across the globe. 

One specific social challenge that every educational cycle plan should be up to is gender equality. That is, committing to empowering both women and men equally throughout education: access, learning achievement, and continuation in education. Over the past couple of years, Uruguay had a positive increase in women enrolling in IT careers. Even though most students are men, this gender gap decreases year after year, almost reaching a proudly significant 30% on women enrollments. In addition, we observe the best outcome when referring to Post-Graduate studies with 55 female students for every 100 male students. 

We are happy to say that specific gender policies are being held to motivate women’s enrollment on all levels of IT educational offerings across the country’s different regions.


Software Dev Community 

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If coding is the digital era's common language, then Uruguay speaks it fluently. There's a strong community of devs fostering dialogue between colleagues, gathering both students and professionals to share know-how and different experiences. 

Frequent meet-ups, like the Lean Start Up, are being held driven by the concept of sharing ideas about agile methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Ruby, or eXtreme Programming, just to name a few. Another cool fact is that you don't need to be an expert to participate; you just have to care or share an interest in a particular subject to assist. In recent years, networking has proven to be very beneficial for individuals seeking to nest long-term relationships or just for the sake of trading information with peers. It is also a  great opportunity for post-graduate professionals to boost their careers according to their specific interests or areas of expertise. 

Uruguay's overall education offer continues to evolve, and in many cases, it's one step ahead. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The National Institution of Employment and Professional Formation (Inefop) joined forces with Coursera launching 25k Moocs to grant more educational opportunities, achieving a remarkable outcome: more than 42k people enrolled and 25% finished the courses. Among the preferred topics Uruguayans chose were Business, Data Science and Computer Science.

Last but not least, The Cuti (Cámara Uruguaya de Tecnologías de la Información) is UYs ICT Board, its non-profit institution held by over 390 companies, seeking to help develop the country's technological growth. Their mission is to help the ICT industry thrive, impacting several markets and nurturing worldwide outsourcing to help professionals and companies as part of their social commitment. 


Final Thoughts

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the delicate fabric of different aspects of society while we all relied on apps or digital services to carry on with our lives. Such context is putting the spotlight once again on the importance of developers and software development (services that need support, to be improved or simply to guarantee they serve their purpose normally under lockdown) to every business. 

As you can see, it's crucial in this ever-changing digital industry to be up to date, developers are constantly pushing boundaries, and the market sets up high-quality standards. This is why finding the right talent, highly motivated, skilled professionals is mandatory for all companies worldwide. If you are seeking highly skilled IT resources to shape your company's vision, Uruguay, up to this day, continues to deliver some of the best world-class IT developers set for a highly competitive, demanding market. 

If you wish to have a closer look at what Uruguay has to offer in the IT industry, contact us here.

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Victoria López
July 16, 2021

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